25 March 2012

Bad Dream

When I became a SAHD, I tried to come up with plans for everything. That way, there would be no surprises. There was only one situation I couldn't figure out a plan for. Only one thing gave me the willies. That everyone would get sick at the same time. That was my nightmare scenario.

And now I know its a whole lot worse than I imagined. Hellish would be the most appropriate word, I believe.

It all started three weeks ago when Little Man got an upper respiratory infection, which he promptly passed to his sister and his mother. I, praise God, escaped - for awhile. For weeks, the three of them would recuperate, only to fall sick again a few days later. It finally hit me in a milder form after two weeks, but I recovered. Until this morning. Now I'm in isolation in my bedroom with a full blown highly contagious case. Another twelve hours and I should be able to get out. Sweetheart and I are bound and determined this crud will not spread again.

This has been an eye opener. We weren't prepared for this kind of illness to bounce around the house. Especially for so long. It brings out my inner prepper. So I'm laying her at 4:30 in the morning making lists of areas we fell short in. Not enough soft Kleenex, so the boy screams bloody murder if you try to wipe his nose. And our habit is to have a home cooked breakfast, which is hard when you wake up and can't see straight from the pain. So I think we'll add easy breakfast options to our repertoire. There are a few other things I've thought of, but I sure hope they won't be needed.

All told, I think this has been my worst month as a parent. With everyone whiny and crabby from being sick and tired - oh, so tired - my patience and optimism went the way of the Dodo. Especially since Princess was the least hard hit and couldn't understand why she couldn't go to the park or on bike rides. She wasn't able to burn off energy much and that made it tortuous for everyone.

I learned quite a lot from this experience. I found out that if I can manage to put on a smile - regardless of how I feel - my family will generally respond in kind. And I learned that when they don't, a "restart" often helps. I put them back to bed and tell them to stay there until they can get back up happy. Works about 75% of the time, even for Sweetheart! Oh fellas, you want to see the full range of emotional stares from your wife and hear just how hard she can stomp through the house? Tell her to go "restart" her attitude and that its not up to debate. But it generally works.

Course then she'll do it to you as well, but it works for Dads, too.